Hockey

Azlan Shah Cup: Mandeep does the star turn

Goal rush: Mandeep Singh, second from right, celebrates with teammates after netting India’s fourth goal to complete his hat-trick against Japan on Wednesday.

Goal rush: Mandeep Singh, second from right, celebrates with teammates after netting India’s fourth goal to complete his hat-trick against Japan on Wednesday.  

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His hat-trick helps India overcome Japan and occupy the second spot

Striker Mandeep Singh scored a brilliant hat-trick to hand India a fighting 4-3 victory over lower-ranked Japan in a round robin match of the 26th Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament, here on Wednesday.

Having squandered the early lead provided by a penalty corner from Rupinderpal Singh in the eighth minute, India was trailing when Mandeep got into his goal-scoring act in the second half.

Neutralising India’s lead through Kazuma Murata’s fine deflection in the 10th minute, Japan led twice with goals coming from Heita Yoshihara (43rd) and Genki Mitani (46th), but it could not overcome Mandeep’s brilliance.

Mandeep got into the goal-scoring act with a fine touch on a through ball from Harmanpreet Singh in the 45th minute. He then came back to tap in a square ball from Sardar Singh in the 51st minute and then ensured three points for India by capitalising on a diagonal from Rupinderpal in the 58th.

India, with seven points from four matches, is second in the standings, ahead of Great Britain on goal difference and has a chance of making a second successive final.

In other matches, table-topper Australia prevailed over Great Britain 2-1, while New Zealand edged out host Malaysia 1-0.

The results: India 4 (Rupinderpal 8, Mandeep 45, 51, 58) bt Japan (Murata 10, Yoshihara 43, Mitani 46); Australia 2 (Trent Mitton 44, Matt Dawson 52) bt Great Britain 1 (Mark Gleghorne 51); New Zealand 1 (Kane Russell 25) bt Malaysia 0.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 11:48:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/azlan-shah-cup-mandeep-does-the-star-turn/article18379115.ece

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